In 1906, Jack London began to build a 45-foot yacht on which he planned a round-the-world voyage, to last seven years.
The Snark was named after Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark. She had two masts and was 45 feet long at the waterline and 55 feet on deck, and London claimed to have spent thirty thousand dollars on her construction. She was primarily sail power; however, she also had an auxiliary 70-horsepower engine. She carried one lifeboat.
After many delays, Jack and Charmian London and a small crew sailed out of San Francisco Bay on April 23, 1907, bound for the South Pacific.
We ran down the Langa Langa Lagoon, between mangrove swamps through passages scarcely wider than the Minota, and passed the reef villages of Kaloka and Auki. Like the founders of Venice, these salt-water men were originally refugees from the mainland. Too weak to hold their own in the bush, survivors of village massacres, they fled to the sand-banks of the lagoon. These sand-banks they built up into islands. They were compelled to seek their provender from the sea. They developed canoe-bodies, unable to walk about, spending all their time in the canoes, they became thick-armed and broad-shouldered with narrow waists and frail spindly legs.